Ice Trays

February 4, 2011

After observing the video, we found that most people had problems from the beginning of the ice making process.

The chart shows some possible outcomes that happened once it begun. The water would either be too full or too little, so one would have to constantly be measuring if the tray was at the right proportion of water. We also found that when attempting to remove ice from the tray; in most cases the ice would fall onto the counter, and because of its slippery surface it would either all on the ground or slide through the counter.

This is a video of people’s experience and what seemed to irritate them most while following a typical ice making process.

Our Solution.

After research was complete we came to our new ice cube tray design. It consists of a plastic tray (similar to what the majority of people were using) with a flexible silicone lid that is liquid tight. This ensures no spilling when getting from the sink to the freezer, also allows for variable positioning within freezers (ie when freezer is full, tray can sit slanted, or upright without spilling). On the inside of the lid small, hollow, silicone spheres are intact to assist with removal of frozen cube; allowing the cube removal to be completely free from having to twist the tray, or to put any amount of physical effort into trying to get an ice out. All one has to do is simply pick it off.

By: Tanya Ilina, Jina Kang, Dayna Griffiths, Melanie Keay, Laura Cisneros.

Deconstruct an Interaction: The Stubborn Glass Jar

February 4, 2011

To view the observational video, click here.

The glass jar is easily one of the most frustrating, but essential, items needed for the preservation of food. Theoretically, the jar is perfect: it is made of inexpensive materials that can be easily reused or recycled; different sizes allow for different quantities of a variety of foods to be stored; the lid that twists on and off is made to fit perfectly with the jar; the shape makes storage easy; etc. However, in reality, there are many flaws within the jar and its design. The most prominent of these problems is the lid. Everyone is aware of how difficult it can be to unscrew the lid off a glass jar. This is due to the vacuum suction seal that is used to keep food fresh and preserved. As well, whether the jar has a textured rim or not is essential. Smooth rims often cause the hand to slide around the lid without having any effect on the opening process at all. In contrast, lids with a grip are not all that much easier to open either because the ridges in the rim make the process painful.

At this point, people that were observed got creative once they couldn’t open the jar in the standard method. Some ran the jar under hot water, then used a cloth to get a good grip on the lid. Others turned the jar upside down and smacked it against a hard surface to break the suction in the cap. There were a few individuals who even tapped a spoon against the entire rim of the lid and then got the jar open. There was one case where an individual had to team up with another person in order to get the jar open. In almost all of the cases, people struggled opening the jar – some more than others. On average, it took at least 2 attempts per person for success in unscrewing the lid to a glass jar. A third of the subjects observed actually ended up spilling some of the contents of what was in their glass container – another flaw that comes with this design. Why is accessing your food so difficult?

The flow chart depicts the process that goes into opening a jar – with each attempt, one can reach success or failure.



Our solution was to essentially reinvent the lid itself, since it seems to be the main flaw. In our design, the lid has a set of grooves in which the hand is meant to be comfortably position into. This allows for a firm grip, without the hand slipping, and without any awful ridges cutting into the hand when pressure is put on the lid. As well, we added a built-in rubber band to help the traction in the lid. This will make the process less problematic and allow for enhanced grip. This new design will hopefully enable consumers to access their preserved goods without much (if at all) struggling.

(Other possible additions include: grooves to the glass jar itself for the fingers of the other hand, as well as a lever placed underneath the rim of the lid so that when pushed, the vacuumed seal releases the air).

Deconstruct an Interaction: OCAD Annex Building Doors

February 4, 2011

The doors to OCAD’s Annex building are used daily by hundreds of students and teachers who wish to gain access to the facilities in this building, including the library, learning center, food court and various classrooms.

Logically, these doors should be easy to use and an efficient design, but our research has uncovered several glaring flaws in the current setup. In our research, we discovered that though the process is theoretically quite simple (grasp handle, pull/push door open, proceed through), there are numerous factors, including crowding, personal baggage load, arm usability and confinement to a wheelchair that could force one to halt the interaction until one is able to ask another for assistance. We found that the majority of students consider the doors too heavy and difficult to open, especially when one is carrying numerous items such as art supplies. In addition, there is currently no automatic open for wheelchair access and the small size of the doors in relation to the opening creates a bottleneck effect which leads to excessive crowding.


1.)    Replace the current doors with automatic sliding doors to eliminate usability problem, allow wheelchair access and expand usable space.

1.)    Shift entrance doors forward to near sidewalk and replace current doors with our custom double automatic sliding door setup. This setup will eliminate difficulties with opening the doors, improve doorway size and eliminate the bottleneck and opposing flow problems by splitting the traffic entering and exiting into two separate doors.

By Josef, Debbie, Sara and Aniura

Project One: Final Thoughts

February 1, 2011

Some final thoughts in advance of your Project One deadline:

  • Use an imaginary client to give your project substance.
  • Use the title of your project to clearly and precisely establish its scope.
  • The structure of your presentation is as open to possibility as the structure of your interaction: craft it thoughtfully.
  • Don’t speak for more than 10 minutes: I will cut you off. Less presenting equals more discussion.
  • Make it awesome. Remember, we’re designers: nothing we do should be boring. To wit:

See you Friday,


Project One Release Form

January 28, 2011

Click here to download the release form required for Project One: Deconstruct an Interaction.

Project One: Deconstruct an Interaction

January 19, 2011

Click here to download Project One: Deconstruct an Interaction.

Below is the list of common interactions between people and their environment that we brainstormed in class.

Gettting on the subway
Watching television
Turning on a tap
Brushing teeth
Climbing stairs
Accessing a website
Cooking a turkey
Signing out a book from the library
Being woken up by an alarm clock
Putting on glasses
Tying a tie
Grocery shopping
Digital painting
Locking a door
Eating food
Reading a book
Reading a e-book
Flushing the toilet
Putting on shoes
Applying lip balm
Listening to music
Making coffee
Baking a cake
Buying a drink
Riding an elevator

This is not an exhaustive list. You’ll be spending four weeks on this Project: select an interaction that is compelling to your group.